Mixed fortunes for Pret and Carphone Warehouse staff

It seems that every week another household name shuts its doors for the final time

The high street is changing faster than at any other time in recent memory, and it seems that every week another household name shuts its doors for the final time. Carphone Warehouse and Pret a Manger are two of the biggest names to hit the headlines recently; however, the employees of the two firms are facing rather different fortunes.

Store closures

Carphone Warehouse, which is set to close over 90 stores, issued a profit warning amidst the continued decline in spending in bricks and mortar stores; instead, many consumers are searching for deals online. If there is a positive for the Carphone Warehouse staff, it is that the phone chain’s owner, Dixons Carphone, has announced that staff will be redeployed to other branches in the network.

The chief executive of Dixons Carphone, Alex Baldock, has only been in post for a matter of months; however, he is positive about the group’s prospects in the longer term, given that there are lots of strengths across the business. Management is willing to admit that there is a lot to fix and is willing to make difficult decisions, such as closing 92 Carphone Warehouse stores to help the broader business.

Bonuses for staff

Pret A Manger is facing changes of a different nature. While Carphone Warehouse is receiving help from its parent company, Pret has a new company in charge. It has been sold to JAB Holdings, the private equity firm based in Luxembourg.

Up to 12,000 Pret staff stand to receive a bonus of £1,000 as a result of the sale. There will be no minimum period of service required and the bonus is set for every member of staff on the payroll when the deal goes through, which is great news for those who have just started their jobs.

The food-to-go giant on the UK high street has 381 branches in the UK alone, with 149 across Europe, the US and even the Far East. In total, there are more than 300,000 customers every day.

The move comes as part of a strategic worldwide growth plan as the brand continues to grow, with consumers continuing to demand quality, freshly prepared meals. Pret A Manger differs to some struggling high street brands, as it offers an instant fix that just isn’t possible with online shopping. There are still many firms feeling the pinch of rising business rates and the impact of the living wage.

While Pret’s future is positive at the moment, each week other national institutions such as Mothercare and House of Fraser are announcing closures, restructuring, and even administration. Many have fallen already, with economics suggesting there are still more to come.

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